A Possible Ending to a New Beginning


Michelle Montanez, Reporter

For Texans, high school football is a long-time tradition. From the players themselves, to the drill team, color guard, and band, all of these students add to the high school football experience.

Since digital learning began in Spring 2020, the question of how long this would last arose. Activities were cancelled, everyone had to stay home, and Garland ISD went back and forth between whether or not students would be able to participate in extracurriculars and sports. Although COVID-19 is still a threat with a few thousand new cases each day in Dallas County, GISD has issued new plans to resume the football season this year and have added new safety protocols.

North Garland Head Football Coach Joe Castillo has high hopes for this football season, set to start in October.

“We have guidelines set up by the district,” Castillo said. “Such as masks which are required, players have to bring their own water to practice, 6 feet of social distancing, pre-screening players before they practice, limits on the amount of players that can be enclosed in areas like the locker room or weight room. Those are really the basic changes we have had to use.”

Practices were approved to take place in person instead of virtually at the beginning of September, and things have slowly been going back to normal. Students are able to attend their practices either on campus or virtually, regardless of the type of instruction they chose, and must have their own transportation to and from the school. 

“We are very excited about our season and the players,” Castillo said. “We will make a run for the playoffs this year and we feel that we have the athletes to do just that.”

However, football players are not the only ones being affected by the new changes and guidelines this year. Student trainers, as well as students involved in activities such as band, drill team, and color guard have also faced many changes.

“Now we have to practice using Google Meets, which makes it hard to fully improve our skills,” color guard member Mary Joseph said. “Football season getting canceled made me feel almost disappointed because I was excited for this year, and it’s something I always look forward to.”

Parents have also been working hard to be compliant and work with the new guidelines set so that their kids will be able to participate in sports and activities.

“I think our parents trust the coaching staff and know that we will follow the guidelines for safety,” Castillo said. “Any concerns or questions that parents may have are addressed through a Google Meets parent meeting.”

Altogether, football is a long time tradition that will continue, even though they’ve had to make changes to it this year.

“Football season for me has always been the best part about being in color guard since we would always have so much fun,” Joseph said. “And the best thing about it is being able to perform, cheer, and just have a blast in general at the games, I’ve made a ton of amazing memories that I will always cherish.”